OPINION   
Editor's Note
As clear as day
How little Regina Ip knows about our migrant women! What little regard she has for them!

Reading a full translation of her column in Ming Pao in which she denigrated Filipina domestic workers immediately evoked a sense of outrage and shock. Prejudice dripped from the written piece, as clear as day.

How could anyone, least of all someone aspiring to be Hong Kong's next chief executive, come up with such damning allegations against one of the most vulnerable and least protected sectors of society?

She wrote: "In Hong Kong, there are quite a lot of cases where expat employers and complaints from expat women residing in Discovery Bay. They complained that the Hong Filipino domestic workers have an affair. When I was the Secretary for Security, I received Kong government had tolerated Filipino helpers who seduced their husbands. But at that time, the bureau could only respond to them by saying that it's rather difficult for the authorities to govern such behaviour under the existing regulatory framework." Details...

Anak Araw
Para kay Regina
Simple lang sana ang mensahe ni Regina Ip sa isang artikulo niya sa pahayagang Ming Pao, na umalingawngaw sa Hong Kong kamakailan: Dapat daw ay hindi lang ang pang-aabuso sa mga domestic helper gaya ni Erwiana ang pagtuunan ng pansin ng international media kundi ang mga ginagawang seksuwal ng mga expatriate sa kanilang mga katulong, na binansagan niyang "sexual resource". Ang ginamit niyang mga salita ay may patama hindi lamang sa talagang target niya. Kaya umalma ang marami. Details...

Migrant's Forum
An open letter to Ip
Ma'am Regina,

It was a great opportunity to have had a chance to talk to you up close and personal on one sunny Sunday of 2008 beside the Legco building in Central. We shook hands and you said, "I am Regina Ip, come to me if you have problems with employment because I cater to concerns of domestic helpers" in Hong Kong. But that's now history. Details...

Know Your Rights
What should new arrivals know


(First of a two-part series)

In the last survey of the Mission For Migrant Workers (or Mission), it appeared that 50% of the respondents were new arrivals in Hong Kong (or have been here for less than two years). Hence, they need basic information to avoid any untoward incidents that may jeopardize their objectives of at least providing the basic necessities to their families and loved ones. Details...

BUHAY PINAY   
Inspirado

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NEWS FROM HOME   
CA freezes 242 bank accounts of Binays, dummies
Granting a request from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the Court of Appeals has frozen 242 bank accounts and insurance policies belonging to Vice President Jejomar Binay, some members of his family and close associates, who are suspected of being his dummies.
See this month's stories...

COMMUNITY   
Pintura Circle's charity art exhibit a success
Three Philippines-based artists were featured in "Trichotomy", another successful art exhibit organized by Pintura Circle and held at the Consulate from May 12-14.

At the close of opening night on May 12, most of the works on display had been sold.
See this month's stories...

SPORTS   
Fil-HK bowling team Grand Slam champion in Singapore
Filipino Bowling Club Hong Kong bagged the Grand Slam Champion trophy at the 5thAsian Filipino Bowlers Friendship Game which was held at the Safra Metrobowl Mt. Faber in Singapore on May 2-3.
See this month's stories...

PINOY JOKES   
Di totoo

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Chinese Horoscope   
Ano ang hatid ng Mayo sa iyo

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Your Daily News   
  GMANews
  Phil. Daily Inquirer
  Manila Times

  May 2013 Hong Kong News   
Filipina appeals removal order to be with resident kid
A Filipina fighting to remain in Hong Kong to be with her underage daughter who holds permanent resident status here has elevated her battle to the Court of Appeal.

Milagros Tecson Comilang, a former domestic helper, has appealed a decision of the Court of First Instance rejecting her challenge to the Director of Immigration's repeated refusal to extend her permission to stay in the territory.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment after hearing arguments on Apr. 16.

The lower court ruling, which was handed down in June last year, also denied Comilang's petition for a judicial review of the Commissioner of Registration's rejection of her application for a Hong Kong permanent identity card.

The outcome of the case could have serious implications for all Filipino children who have been granted right of abode, but whose parents do not share this status. Such is the case of about two dozen children of Filipino domestic workers who were granted permanent residency about three to four years ago.

At the appeal hearing, Comilang's counsel, Gladys Li, SC, described the legal proceeding before Justices Peter Cheung, Frank Stock and Joseph Paul Fok as a special case involving a child who is underage, a minority and who requires the constant presence of a parent.

Comilang first came to the city in 1997. Shortly after her last contract was terminated on July 13, 2005, she underwent an Islamic marriage with a certain Shaker Ahmed, a Hong Kong permanent resident. She subsequently applied for a change of her immigration status to remain in the city as a dependant of her husband.

Pending the processing of her application, the Director of Immigration did not extend Comilang's permission to stay, which expired on Oct. 10, 2005.

Then, in February 2006, the already overstaying Comilang gave birth to Zahrah Ahmed, who acquired permanent resident status through her father and by virtue of her being born in Hong Kong.

Ahmed, the husband, was subsequently discovered to be in a subsisting marriage at the time he married Comilang. He later withdrew his sponsorship of the Filipina's change of status application.

Since then, Comilang has resisted several orders for her leave so she could stay with her daughter, whom she wants to remain in the territory to enjoy her rights as a permanent resident. The child is a co-applicant in the case.

While recognizing the state's right to control who stays in Hong Kong, Li argued that the immigration department should allow a custodial parent the right to stay in the interest of the child.

The Court, warned Li, should consider the impact of their decision because, in compelling Comilang to leave, the child essentially loses her right of abode.

Li also questioned the fairness of allowing unmarried children below 18 years of age to be dependants of parents, and yet denying the same right to a resident child and her parent.

On the other hand, Anderson Shek, counsel for the Director of Immigration, wanted the Court to clarify what a child's right of abode entailed.

"To what extent can (the child's right of abode) be relied upon (by) the mother (who has) no right of abode?" asked Shek.

Foreign nationals are allowed to sponsor their relatives as dependants. In exceptional cases, the Director of Immigration also has the discretion to allow other foreign nationals to stay in Hong Kong on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

However, in the appealed 50-page judgment, Presiding Justice Johnson Lam had stated that the courts will not lightly interfere with the Director's exercise of discretion and that "humanitarian considerations are not reviewable in courts" (Lau Kong Yung vs Director Immigration [1999]).

Judge Lam also ruled that it was not necessary for the court to come to any conclusion on the impact of the refusal of Tecson's extension of stay on the future of Zahrah Ahmed.

He further rejected the argument that Comilang needed to leave Hong Kong with her daughter, simply because she had custody of the child.

"The Family Court has jurisdiction to reconsider the question of custody when (Comilang) has to leave Hong Kong. One option is to grant custody to the father. Another option is to grant leave to relocation. It is entirely a matter for the Family Court to decide in view of the prevailing circumstances and the best interest of the child," said Justice Lam.


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